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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in US, global migratory fish populations.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial, while both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

SD Plan to Ban Gender-Affirming Care Stokes Privacy Debate

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Monday, February 6, 2023   

South Dakota is once again locked in a debate over a bill concerning transgender youth.

It seeks to ban gender-affirming care, with supporters saying they want to protect minors, while opponents call it a major intrusion on a family's personal medical decisions.

The state Senate is expected to take up the bill after it was overwhelmingly approved by the House last week. It would prohibit treatments like hormone therapy for those under 18.

Bill sponsors say adolescents shouldn't be seeking out care they might regret. But Susan Williams, executive director of South Dakota's Transformation Project Advocacy Network, pointed out that these aren't rash decisions made by teens on their own.

"Gender-affirming care would start with a therapist meeting with a family, meeting with a youth and doing several assessments," said Williams. "That can take six months or more."

She said lawmakers trying to have their say would be violating a family's privacy.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says having this care for adolescents is a crucial part of helping them thrive.

Last year, South Dakota approved a law banning transgender youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. Other conservative states have adopted similar laws, including targeting gender-affirming care.

Williams said she feels there's too much misinformation being floated within these debates.

"They're using words like 'genital mutilation' and 'chemical castration,'" said Williams, "and these words are meant to instill fear in the general public."

The HHS says procedures such as gender-affirming surgeries are typically used in adulthood.

Meanwhile, some of the laws in other states have led to lawsuits. Opponents of the South Dakota bill predict as currently written, it would lead to costly litigation.




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